Jon Gruden Transcript: Sept. 7

Here is the post-practice press conference of Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden for Friday, Sept. 7, 2007, courtesy of the Buccaneers:

On the injury status of the team

"It's the same injury report that we had on Wednesday."

On if only DE Patrick Chukwurah is listed on the injury report

"Yes, same one. Yes."

On if he can sum up his message to his players entering the season opener

"No, not really. We're just ready to go. We get on a plane at 3:30. We don't need to say a lot at this point in time. We're ready to play, ready to go."

On if TE Jerramy Stevens returned to practice today

"Yes."

On if there are any updates on Stevens' situation

"No, he's back at practice today, and as we said, the process, rightfully so, is going to run its course and when it was over he would be back here. And here he is, and it's great to have him back. Hopefully we can get this whole matter resolved and move on with what I think is a pretty damn good kid and football player's life."

On how Stevens' missed time has affected his preparation

"Well, it doesn't help your preparation, but the great thing about modern technology is that we have everything on film and well-documented. We've got acetates, we've got programs. We've got media guides. We have the ability to catch him up. There will be times during the season where a player does get injured, doesn't practice during the week but plays on Sunday. We'll rely on Jerramy Stevens' veteran background to help him do that."

On if there is a change in WR David Boston's status

"No, all I can say is that David has assured me he is innocent, and I believe him. I apologize if that makes anybody mad. I believe the man. I think he's a great guy, and I think his status is obviously going to be determined by someone other than me. I respect him tremendously, and I believe what he says. I also believe this will all work itself out."

On if Boston is making the trip to Seattle

"Yes, he's playing. He's making the trip. Absolutely. Why wouldn't he?"

On if this has been a weird lead up to the season opener with offseason distractions

"I haven't really looked at that way. Every team in the league has got a lot of issues to deal with, and you've got to deal with them. Philadelphia lost [Jeff] Garcia and [Jeremiah] Trotter, and you could keep going on and on. That's part of this business. You have to make some tough decisions, some that not everybody in the building likes, some that are made because of necessity. Some are made because that's the direction the organization is going, and you've got to understand that. It's a team game. You try to look forward to giving people other opportunities at some point in life."

On the progress of this year's draft picks

"We feel like the last few years we've had some rookies and young players really come in and do well and thank God for that. It's been a long time since young people have really come in here and stepped up. [Michael] Clayton did it. [Davin] Joseph did it. Cadillac [Williams] did it. Alex Smith has done it. We're expecting [Arron] Sears to do it. We're expecting [Tanard] Jackson. We're expecting Gaines Adams, other guys to do it, and we need them to. We expect them to."

On if he will try to keep his players occupied on Saturday

"There's going to be some downtime Saturday. We'll get up. We'll have a walkthrough at the Seahawks' stadium. We're looking forward to seeing it. They say it's a great facility, and the weather might not be the same there as it is here. So we'll give our guys an opportunity to get physically rejuvenated, get a good night's sleep. Then we'll assume our Saturday night-before-the-game routine."

On DT Jovan Haye saying that playing under tackle in the Bucs defense after Warren Sapp is a challenge

"It's a good thing he observed that because that's the truth. You know, Sapp was the greatest three-technique, in my opinion, that there is in football – in this system particularly. He was special and is still special. Let's point that out, loud and clear. I love Sapp. We miss Sapp. You could coach 25, 35 years and maybe meet another Sapp, but he's not here right now. We've tried a couple of other guys the last couple of years, and that hasn't worked out. Jovan Haye gets his shot. Not a lot of people in football know him. He's just got to go out there. He's withstood a lot of challengers, and he plays with a great motor. He'll put his own spin on the position, hopefully a good spin at that."

On who will start at flanker

"Again, I'm not going to say anything other than we'll use them all. Who starts doesn't mean – I don't know if they all have incentives in their contracts for starts, but if they do, we'll weigh that too into the equation. But they're all going to play. We've got different personnel groupings that involve all five of our receivers, and we'll see how the game goes. If we get the ball, our defense is opportunistic and gets us some balls, we'll have some time to use guys."

On if there is a decision on who will backup Jeff Garcia

"No, not at this point. I'll say it at game time."


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